Getting discriminated, harassed, or retaliated against in any employment situation is one of the most horrible things that can happen to an employee or a job applicant. Such instances, however, are not uncommon in most workplaces in the United States. In fact, almost every day, an applicant or an employee suffers discrimination, harassment or retaliation in any aspect of employment, and most of the time, such actions are motivated the former’s race, color, religion, sex, nation of origin, age, and disability, among other many protective characteristics.
Almost all people are aware that any discriminatory action done towards an employee or applicant is illegal under various employment and labor laws. To begin with, every employee or applicant is entitled to their rights. Employers, on the other hand, have to make sure that they promote fairness and equality in their workplaces. If an affected employee or applicant cries foul, then he or she can always air his or her grievances with his or her company’s human resources department or, if possible, the administration of the company itself. But if it fails to address the issue, then the victim of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation can always file a charge against his or her employer through the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
About the EEOC
The EEOC is a federal agency responsible for enforcing U.S. anti-discrimination in employment laws. Basically, what the agency does is to investigate discrimination, harassment, and retaliation charges filed by victims against their erring employers who are covered by the laws that the agency imposes. It would review and assess the allegations as fairly as possible, and then make a finding.
If the EEOC finds that the employer in question indeed discriminated, harassed, or retaliated against the employee or applicant, then the agency will try to settle the charge. However, if it does not, the agency has the right to file a lawsuit on behalf of the victim in order to protect his or her rights and the public’s interest.
In addition, the EEOC also educated workplaces through training programs and seminars, as well as engage in monitoring and evaluation on employers who were already charged by the agency in an effort to prevent untoward incidents of discrimination from happening again. The agency makes it an effort that employers comply with the federal anti-discrimination laws that they enforce.
Some of the laws the EEOC enforces
It would be worth showcasing what the EEOC laws they enforce, so here is a list of some of them:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This important federal law prohibits employers with 15 or more employees to discriminate against an employee or applicant in all aspects of employment on the basis of his or her race, color, religion, national origin, or sex. Retaliation is likewise illegal under the said law.
- Age Discrimination Act of 1967 (ADEA). Under this law, employers with 20 or more employees are prohibited from discriminating, harassing, or retaliating against older employees or applicants who are 40 years or older.
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Employers covered by this federal law are prohibited from discriminating, harassing, or retaliating against a qualified person with a disability in all aspects of employment. Also, the law requires covered employers with 15 or more employees to provide reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities, unless doing so would cause undue hardship to the businesses.
- Equal Pay Act (EPA). This federal law requires covered employers to pay men and women in their workforce the same amount of wages for their equal and substantial work.
Employees and applicants who were subjected to adverse actions in employment may think that the laws that prohibit discrimination, harassment, and retaliation are straightforward. However, going after their erring employers involves complex legal processes. For them to get compensated for the actions done to them by their employers, it would necessary for them to seek immediate legal advice and representation by hiring top EEOC Lawyers.